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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box2/Fold2/July-Dec1899/39
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date13 October 1899
Address FromKarree Kloof, Kran Kuil, Northern Cape
Address ToGirls Collegiate School, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
Who ToBetty Molteno
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to Manuscripts and Archives, University of Cape Town, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Manuscripts and Archives Collections. The date has been written on by an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident on the farm Karree Kloof from the end of August to early November 1899. The name of the addressee and the address this letter was sent to are provided by an attached envelope.
1 Dear Friend,
3 I am longing so to hear new of things in Cape Town. We shall probably
4leave this on Monday the 23rd & get to Cape Town on Wednesday the 25th.
6 So the blow has fallen. I am dead, but I will keep on writing. I
7enclose you Reitzs letter to me, & one of the anonymous letters I got.
8Return both. I feel I must go to Cape Town & see Will. Not that I can
9help him. If I get too ill to stay & work there I will come up to the
10karroo. I must finish my work. There is a place Lemoenfontein half an
11hour from Beaufort West where I can go, but it is very expensive £12
12^£12.12^ a month. I am writing to another farm I have heard of in the
13Beaufort district Falberg Tailors; which will I think be cheaper.
14Perhaps you & Miss Greene could come & see me there. But oh I hope I
15shall be well enough to write in Cape Town.
17 I have been going about much among the Boers yesterday we visited
18three farms. Oh this this is a wicked thing, a wicked thing.
20 Good bye, my dear dear friends. I feel paralysed & dead this morning I
21can’t write even to you.
23 Are the men in Cape Town holding together well? Do you think it will
24be any use my going to see Milner?
26 October 13th 1899
28 I have not used that cheque for £50 you lent me dear heart, & will
29not as I am sure in these times you have need of every farthing of
30money your^self. I shall soon I hope get £35 from America for an
31article I have written.^
The article for which Schreiner might receive payment from the US could be one of those on 'Woman' or one of her 'Returned South African' essays. The ‘A Returned South African’ articles were originally published in a range of magazines; she intended to rework them in book form, as Stray Thoughts on South Africa. A dispute with a publisher and then the outbreak of the South African War (1899-1902) prevented this, and they were in the event with some additional essays published posthumously as Thoughts on South Africa. Two articles on the woman question' were published in the US as 'Woman'; these were conceived as part of a major theoretical work Schreiner intended to published, but the manuscript of this was destroyed when her Johannesburg house was badly damaged and burned by marauding troops during the South African War; these two articles eventually became Woman and Labour.